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Arthur C. Clarke - R.I.P. - 1917 - 2008

Do these things really happen in threes? First Gary Gygax, now Arthur C. Clarke. Of course Mr. Clarke was 90, going on 91, so it was certainly a longer life than Mr. Gygax had (or Clarke's writing contemporaries, like Isaac Asimov).

He was of course famous in the mainstream and certainly beloved in the "geek" community for a variety of reasons. I previously posted a bit about his involvement with early telecomputing. His books inspired several early games as well, most notably individual titles for the ColecoVision (action) and Coleco Adam (hybrid text adventure), and a text and graphics adventure from Telarium/Trillium.

Whether you believe in the concept of heaven or not, the best you can do in this world, the here and now, is leave your mark in as positive a way as possible. All told, Clarke probably did that and more.

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Photo of the Week - Know your History! (01 - Commodore PET 2001-8)

Welcome to the first of an ongoing series of exclusive photos here at Armchair Arcade from my private collection, the Commodore PET 2001-8.

The photo's main page.
The full-size image.

Without further ado, here are some neat facts about this week's photo (feedback welcome!):

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Retro Thing - Emerson's Arcadia 2001 Console

Retro Thing, link here, which offers nice general retro coverage, decided to briefly turn its attention to the little known Emerson Arcadia 2001 console. It used a casual photo from my collection, saying "Above photo from this massive private collection" and provided a link back to the main videogame and computer section of my personal Website. Anyway, all the little factoids Retro Thing mentions are more or less accurate. Emerson's system was available under different names and from different manufacturers depending upon territory it was released. All games were cross-compatible between different territories since this was released several years before the NES territorial lockout standard. In any case, some games did come in long cartridge cases - very long - and others came in more standard shorter cases. As mentioned, the games themselves were nothing spectacular, though there were a couple of unique releases and conversions. The system's power was roughly at the Intellivision level, though those games were considerably more polished. The controllers were merely adequate. The big selling point of the Arcadia 2001 was the fact that it could run on DC power for "portability" and the fact that the system and the games were generally cheaper than the competition's. It was nevertheless too little, too late. It's relatively easy to collect for, as there are a decent number of systems available at reasonable prices and plenty of mostly loose games (though for many, it's nice to have the box, manual and overlays), with limited competition among other collectors.

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